Andy Cohen Apologizes to Amandla Stenberg: 'I Truly Meant No Disrespect'
By Zach Seemayer
On Sunday's Watch What Happens Live, we all got to watch what happens when host Andy Cohen chimes in on a topic that he doesn't fully understand.
Cohen decided to take Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg to task for her criticism of Kylie Jenner's cornrows, saying, "Today’s Jackhole goes to the Instagram feud between Kylie Jenner and Hunger Games star/Jaden Smith’s prom date Amandla Stenberg, who criticized Kylie for her cornrows, calling it cultural appropriation. White girls in cornrows ... is it OK or nay?"
Many viewers were offended by Cohen's flippant reduction of Stenberg's comments slamming Jenner for "cultural appropriation" and #BoycottBravo quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.
After the segment began generating a lot of heat, Cohen took to Twitter to say that people were misinterpreting his comments, and that he was not insulting Stenberg, but instead was criticizing the concept of online celebrity feuds.
To clarify, I gave the jackhole to an online feud & certainly not to the topic or to any individual. I ironically hate online feuds.
However, this attempt to distance himself from the comments made on his show did little to calm the flames, and later in the day Cohen write an longer apology, specifically to Stenberg, in which Cohen admitted that he "didn't understand the larger context of this cultural discussion," and that he "TRULY meant no disrespect to her or anyone else."
I want to apologize to Amandla. I didn't understand the larger context of this cultural discussion and TRULY (cont) http://t.co/zRSOm2rxtN
Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, who was a guest on WWHL along with Vogue Editor-at-Large André Leon Talley, also shared her thoughts about cultural appropriation in a lengthy Tumblr post on Tuesday after she was criticized for not standing up for Stenberg during the episode.
Cox explained that, when asked about the feud between Stenberg and Jenner, she didn't want to get involved, adding, "In that moment, I also felt that the topic of cultural appropriation needs way more than the 10 seconds or less I had to respond at the end of the show to fully unpack."
Cox goes on to detail her well-researched and eloquent views on cultural appropriation in American culture, which she shared "in the hopes of continuing a dialogue about this issue in a loving, empathetic way that is not about individual attacks but about individual accountability."